Nina Berman is a documentary photographer based in New York City with a particular interest in the American political and social landscape. She is the author of two monographs, "Purple Hearts - Back from Iraq" and "Homeland", both examining war, militarism and its effect on the collective American psyche. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries world wide including the Whitney Museum 2010 Biennial. Nina is a member of the NOOR photo collective. Her work on the Occupy Movement was featured in 2011 on the New York Times lens blog.
At a rate of every minute every day, the New York Police Department stops a person, questions them, asks for identification, and frisks them, sometimes at gunpoint, sometimes slapped against a wall. The number one reason for the stop, according to NYPD statistics, is that the person made a “furtive” look. The number two reason is “other.” Most of the time that person is black or Latino and most of the time they are living in the city’s poorest communities.
A very small percentage of these “stop and frisks” result in arrest or the seizure of any kind of contraband. Since 2002, the number of stop and frisks has increased from 149, 000 to approaching 700,000 in 2011. The NYPD claims that “stop and frisk” is an effective policing strategy but its own statistics paint a different picture.